Around the United States, many communities provide access to commercial airports. Yet the small California town of Victorville, some 80 miles outside Los Angeles, hosts one of the more unusual types of aviation facilities: a “boneyard” for wrecked, obsolete, surplus or temporarily retired passenger planes. Called “the Southern California Logistics Airport”, the site extends across a patch of barren desert on the outskirts of the small Southern California town.
While some of the aircraft at the facility will likely never fly again, other planes wait in long term storage for sale or re-activation. A variety of international airlines dispose of jets in this unusual scrap yard. Business Insider recently published extensive photos online depicting commercial airplanes held in storage at the facility. Airlines as diverse as British Airways, China Air, FedEx, Evergreen International, Singapore Airlines, United, and Air New Zealand have added discarded aircraft to the collection of parked jetliners.
The City of Victorville promotes the unusual 2,500 acre air facility on its website. With multiple hangers and other aviation equipment on hand, plus lots nearby for commercial aviation development, the site enables Victorville to serve as a hub for a variety of commercial airline industry services. The specialized airport has contributed significantly to the local economy.
Similar plane “boneyards” exist in some other nations. Australia consigns many scrapped jets to a facility outside the desert community of Alice Springs, for example.
Since many of the surplus planes stored at Victorville ultimately return to the air, the facility maintains careful records and performs regular maintenance checks. Frequently, planes simply await re-sale. The President of the airport indicated during an interview in 2009 perhaps 90% of the planes might eventually return to the skies. Major airlines sometimes refurbish them to market to smaller transportation firms in developing nations.